February 24, 2017

Expert panel at Hudson Institute discusses future of Iraq and benefits of Kurdistan’s independence

Washington, DC, USA (us.gov.krd) – KRG Representative to the United States Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman joined a panel of distinguished scholars at the Hudson Institute on February 23 to discuss the future of Kurdistan and Iraq after the impending defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sh’am (ISIS) terrorist organization.

The event, titled ‘The State of Iraq – and the Republic of Kurdistan? – After ISIS’ was moderated by Dr Eric Brown of the Hudson Institute, and included Dr Kenneth Pollack and Dr Ranj Alaaldin from the Brookings Institution and Michael Pregent from the Hudson Institute.

Much of the discussion focused on the future challenges facing the Iraq, and how independence for the Kurdistan Region could augur for greater peace in the new Iraq. Dr Pollack said, ‘The future of Iraq cannot be its past. Its past has not worked and we’ve seen constant, repeated conflict between Kurds and the rest of Iraq. That’s got to change moving forward… At the end of the day, this has got to be independence, this has got to be a meaningful change. That is the only thing that’s going to end this endless, constant conflict.’

Representative Abdul Rahman said, ‘We wish to achieve independence through dialogue and agreement… We have the right to self-determination. We have begun the process, and we will continue on that path. And I believe that an independent Iraqi Kurdistan will be one of the best partners to Iraq.’

She added that an independent Kurdistan, ‘will be a strategic and reliable partner to the United States. The United States has partners in the Middle East. How many are reliable. An independent Kurdistan will be that strategic and reliable partner.’

The panel also discussed how important it is for the US and international community to remain involved in Iraq.

Representative Abdul Rahman said, ‘We need the United States to stay engaged with Iraq and with Kurdistan… We need the United States to remain engaged diplomatically… [and to] keep a military presence in Iraq and in Kurdistan. Not only will that be a comfort to the minorities, to the Christians, Yezidis, and others… it will also give the US a platform in the heart of the Middle East.’

Watch the event here.
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